First off, what gives a site value?
Every site has its own history. (I like comparing the web to nature because it just makes better sense to me.) Just like you and I, we have “reputation” in our natural environments, what we do reflects others opinions about who we are. When one person is consistently achieving results for something, they become trusted for their talents. In a pack of wolves, there is always a dominant wolf, AKA the wolf pack leader. The leader builds a “reputation” for dominating. All the others follow the leader, simply because of its “reputation”. In this example, the leader has authoritative qualities. Sound familiar?
The web is no different from nature…
Search engine optimizers are new age sheepherders and here’s the Wiki:
“Shepherding is one of the oldest occupations, beginning some 6,000 years ago in Asia Minor. Sheep were kept for their milk, meat and especially their wool. Over the next millennia, sheep and shepherding spread throughout Eurasia.
Some sheep were integrated in the family farm along with other animals such as chickens and pigs. To maintain a large flock, however, the sheep must be able to move from pasture to pasture; this required the development of an occupation separate from that of the farmer. The duty of shepherds was to keep their flock intact and protect it from wolves and other predators. The shepherd was also to supervise the migration of the flock and ensured they made it to market areas in time for shearing. In ancient times shepherds also commonly milked their sheep, and made cheese from this milk; only some shepherds still do this today.”
And the analogy…
Our demographic are sheep.
“To maintain a large flock, however, the sheep must be able to move from pasture to pasture” to guide a prospect into a sale we must be able to move the prospect from a resourceful piece of content to another resourceful piece of content.
“The duty of shepherds was to keep their flock intact and protect it from wolves and other predators” I’m not calling all web browsers sheep. A sheepherder’s job is no different then an Internet Marketers. In this business, we look for a demographic to link to. However, we must also protect our investment from the wrong demographic (bad quality or invaluable linking). Timing is also an important factor for some demographics, via social networks, and blogging. Just like the duty of a shepherd: “The shepherd was also to supervise the migration of the flock and ensured they made it to market areas in time for shearing”. When something relevant to your demographic gets mentioned or is trending on a social network, blog, or forum an opportunity for linking opens. If you get to the post too late, you will not be able to benefit as much from the demographic as you would of if you were involved at the peak of the conversation.
More about Sheep’s! Yeah Really!
“In many societies shepherds were an important part of the economy. Unlike farmers, shepherds were often wage earners, being paid to watch the sheep of others.” SEO’s are hired to watch out for and create links for others. We are in charge of the demographic (sheep).
Here is the juicy part.
“Shepherds would normally work in groups either looking after one large flock, or each bringing their own and merging their responsibilities. They would live in small cabins, often shared with their sheep and would buy food from local communities. Less often shepherds lived in covered wagons that travelled with their flocks.”
SEO’s should work in groups. We may have sites that relate, and we can help each other create useful content for these sites. We are handling businesses demographics by herding their sheep. So, why not work in groups?
Achieving success by working in groups.
As SEO’s we should all follow good practices and help each other grow. Once we build good reputation by educating the web, we earn rankings. SEO’s have a hand full of sites they can exchange links with. However, reciprocating is not acceptable and many SEO’s don’t follow good practices. Conclusion, if SEO’s only network relevant sites without reciprocation, the users will be happy, and so will the search engines. Content is not key in SEO. Relevant content from authoritative sources is!
No more sheep talk I promise.
The good, The Bad and The Unknown!
From when a site is built, to the time it is completed and ranking, link exchanging is ongoing. When comparing sites, look at how many links all the sites on the first page have. Then look at the quality of these links. The sites that were rewarded did not have a 4th of the amount of links that some of the first page rankers had. However, the latest update cleared the path for success.
With Google’s latest Penguin update, we have been rewarded from long-term link building campaigns.
When link building, every site you place a link to will affect the business’s “reputation” in the users eyes, followed by the search engines spy’s.
The Good –
Linking Sites relevant to your niche that helps users find more information is all you need. When linking sites, create unique text to link the sites. Link Anchoring “Click her to learn more about [exact keyword]” using diversity, the link should describe the destination. The good educate the web!
Social Sites can build traffic by entertaining users or by helping them learn more. Use social networks to find your demographics needs and earn links. Once your sites have value, you have value. Our search engine results are based on our “Reputation”. The good educate the web!
The Bad –
Linking Sites from every direction without care. Linking to sites that don’t relate to the users needs won’t carry any value. If the user doesn’t benefit, neither do the search engine results. Link anchoring the same [exact keyword] surrounded by irrelevant text will not help your rankings, in order for authoritative link juice to pass through there must be relevancy. Can you imagine what spam sounds like when you read it out loud? How does that affect a business’s reputation? If you get a link from a site with a PR3 that is not one bit relevant to the niche. It will not pass as much link juice as a relevant site with a PR3. The bad pollute the web!
Social Sites with spam are just plain annoying! If no one is clicking, no one is buying. Placing a link on a thread that is not relevant to you niche is like putting a billboard on the bottom of the ocean. In my opinion, if your not there to help, you are there to pollute. The bad pollute the web!
The Unknown – (blogs and forums)
Linking Sites in the gray area can be useful in some cases, if it can help a user find value. Anchoring [exact keyword] signatures on every blog post and forum post looks like an attempt to manipulate the search engine. However, anchoring with diversity in relevant places does help. Whenever linking a site in the gray area, use caution. The gray area can do one of two things… Help your results, or hurt them… You have two options. Option 1: Educate the web! Option 2: Pollute the web!
Social Sites in my opinion don’t have a gray area. It’s black and white!
The more connections an SEO builds the more link requests get presented for different sites. The hard part is telling a site with a Page Rank 5 that is not relevant to you is:
My Friend You Will Become?